BOSTON, Mass. - The Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) has announced the recipients of the 2023 Regatta’s postseason awards. The member coaches of the Association selected all three national champion crews and coaches as the respective Coaches and Crews of the Year.
On the heavyweight side, Cal Berkeley's Varsity Eight and Scott Frandsen were honored while Princeton's Lightweight Varsity Eight and head coach Marty Crotty were recognized. The Princeton Varsity Eight and Paul Rassam were honored by the Women's Lightweight contingent.
The Golden Bears repeated as IRA national champions, as the 1V team won its Grand Final at Mercer Lake to win the program's 19th title. Cal got out to an early lead and maintained that lead as the Bears' pace proved too strong and was able to capture the title a half a length ahead of second-place Washington in 5:31.716. It was also the first time Cal won consecutive national titles since winning four in a row from 1999-02.
"I'm thrilled that our Varsity 8+ will be recognized as Crew of the Year," exclaimed head coach Frandsen. "It has been a full-team effort from top to bottom with the Varsity 8+ leading the charge with their relentless consistency and poise. Every time the crew was tested this year, they rose to the challenge and performed."
Frandsen, who earns his second straight Coach of the Year nod said, "I'm honored to be named Coach of the Year; a lot of credit goes to my staff and everyone in our administration that has helped us all year. We had an outstanding group of student-athletes on the team this year and the generation that came before them laid the foundation for this team culture to be possible. It has been a lot of fun to guide the group towards the results that we've been able to achieve this year."
In the Grand Final for Princeton's Lightweight First Varsity, it was a back-and-forth race between the Tigers and Harvard, but Princeton pulled away finishing 1.8 seconds ahead of the Crimson to earn the first gold medal of the day. It was the first varsity eight title for Princeton at IRAs since 2010. The 2V boat, which did not lose a race all season, crossed the finish line over two seconds in front of the second-place boat to capture the second gold medal.
The Tigers' wins in the 1V and 2V secured the IRA's President's Cup, awarded to the top point total for the men's lightweights. It was the sixth time the Tigers have done that, the last coming in 2010.
“I’m very thankful to the other coaches in our league for selecting me as the Coach of the Year and our Varsity 8+ as Lightweight Crew of the Year," said Crotty. "In a league with such small margins week in and week out, there is any number of coaches and crews that deserve these honors just as much. So, Dave Burke and I and all of our rowers appreciate the recognition!”
For the second straight year, Princeton's Varsity Eight and Paul Rassam were honored as the Women's Lightweight Crew and Coach of the Year after collecting three golds at Mercer Lake.
The Varsity Eight boat crossed the finish line over six seconds ahead of the second-place Stanford. The Varsity Eight boat has not lost to another lightweight boat since the 2019 IRA Championships.